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December, 2009:

Baby Boomers less healthy than preceeding generation

According to a report in the Natural, the baby boomers reaching 60 are the first generation that is less healthy than the generation before them. A study conducted at the University of California, found that one in five people in their 60’s needs assistance in everyday living activities. This is 50% higher than a decade ago. The Mail online of the UK, provides a much more comprehensive description about the study. The conclusion is that bad diet and lack of exercise which is compounded by the fact that there is so much technology that keeps us from being as active as previous generations. The full article will be published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010. If we think about how active we were early in life and how easy we have it now, one could see how we are having more knee, hip, weight, and diabetes problems because of two things. First, we were extremely active early in life and then with all of the technology and luxuries that people who have money have access to we have stopped keeping our muscles in shape. Second, our eating habits, the increase in portions in restaurants, and our active life leading to less healthy eating increases our risk for obesity and all the diseases that come with being overweight. I just bought my husband a Wii because he has not been exercising because he must care for his mother. He can use the TV to get back into shape. I know that I have become less active and my New Year’s resolution will be to get back into shape.

Brain Fitness Games – Compliment good nutrition, physical activity, and psychological health

There is a lot of press making people believe that brain fitness games will keep you from getting forgetful. However a recent article on Tampa Bay online makes the case that it is just one piece of the health puzzle for aging adults and children. The article points out that older adults are a large consumer group for these products due to the fear of dementia. I have a Nintendo DS Lite for the brain games. I enjoy working on them and it gives me different things to do from the day to day thinking that I have to do. I know lots of friends who have bought game consoles such as the Wii to help them stay active both mentally and physically. According to the 2009 Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy Survey, Fourth Edition, 44 percent of boomers own a game console up from 31 percent in 2006. I wonder if some of this is due to the economic recession and a game console provides a more economic, diverse entertainment opportunity for the entire family. For those of you that own game consoles, let me know why you got one.